Foodiedame clocked 6 on the 31st of May and I had no idea until 1st of June. When I saw the notification on WordPress, I told my boyfriend that I wouldn’t be talking about it because I deserted the blog for over a year and I am only just getting activities back on the blog. Also, I have lost the attention of my followers and after 6 years of blogging with over 4 years of advertising, I still have not cashed out of Adsense due to my inconsistencies.
The above is the reality of this blogger right here. However, after numerous thoughts and the bewildering realization of the many opportunities that I have earned as a result of the existence of this blog, it is shallow of me to blot out all these blessings only to count and dwell on my losses.
Hence, in this blog post, in honour of Foodiedame at 6 and in an unflinching belief in the greater things to come forthwith, I write about a dream which owning this blog has greatly contributed to achieving. Hopefully, this post will make you keep your dreams alive because only dreams that do not die eventually fly.
After a failed attempt to pursue my undergraduate degree in Russia in 2012, I developed a strong interest in international studies and made a pact to get my Master’s degree outside Nigeria. Graduating in 2018, I actively began pursuing this goal by applying to schools and scholarships in the UK. Between November and December that year, I applied to three universities because Chevening scholarship, the foremost scholarship which I applied to posited that I could indicate interest and submit study applications to three schools.
By December, I received notification of admission from all three schools and by February 2019, I got my first rejection mail from Chevening. It was succinct with no explanation as to why I got rejected. The second and third rejections which were from Commonwealth and Marshal Papworth respectively came in May, another Commonwealth rejection came in July and my dreamer’s hope seemed really dashed.
Thankfully, I had friends who stood by me through all of this. After receiving the fourth rejection mail, Ife (my friend) figured out what was wrong considering that my essays were good. She called my attention to the fact that I had been doing all of these on my own, too scared to get people involved in the process because I was afraid I could fail and it would be worse to fail publicly.
Noting this, I checked for names of scholarship holders on the social media pages of the different scholarships I attempted and was lucky to find one Nigerian who earned the Marshal Papworth scholarship the previous year. I told this stranger all about myself and he reconfirmed that my essays were good but my work experience was a major criterion holding me back. Also, my recommendation letters weren’t weighty and I had been applying without proof of English language.
With this deduction, immediately after NYSC in July 2019, I multiplied the effort I had been putting into jobs. I applied for roles in relevance to the skills I have acquired from my 5 years of blogging experience on Foodiedame. I also got referred to some jobs, took some of them, and at the end of the day, was working with three agribusiness brands plus my own personal brand at the same time. With this workload, truly, the last thing that could cross my mind was Foodiedame even though my blogging experience on this blog was the outstanding factor that earned me these jobs. At that moment, Foodiedame was my portfolio which I showed potential employers to tell them what I could do for their agricultural and food businesses.
By September, I was physically and mentally drained from the multitasking. However, I was not too tired to remember what got me into multiple jobs. In October 2019, scholarship notifications flew around my timelines. Bren was tweeting of opened opportunities, Ogbeni Dipo was tweeting and I was receiving emails of scholarships every day.
One evening, I forcefully shut myself off every business I was engaged with. I took my diary, wrote out all the scholarships I wanted to apply/ reapply to, and gathered my credentials together. This time, I was done with games and was willing to give my all. So, firstly, I registered for IELTS. I took the exam in the first week of November, went to my university to collect letters of recommendation, and began submitting applications again. Chevening, Commonwealth, Commonwealth Shared and this time around, with an undescribable keenness, DAAD scholarship. In February 2020, again, I received my honorable rejection mail from Chevening. But, from one of the Commonwealth applications, I received a mail of successfully making it through the first screening and I also received an invitation for an interview from DAAD scholarship.
Early one morning in March, I woke up to a congratulatory email which has seemingly opened the door to more of the things that I have dreamed of.
Currently, I look forward to traveling once there is an ease of the international travel ban caused by Covid-19. What this means for me and Foodiedame is that the sacrifice to put off blogging to pursue a bigger dream paid off and in the coming months when I eventually travel, this blogger would be writing from another country. She would be cooking and making videos in some white-painted kitchen. So, don’t be surprised if you see me writing about available African foods in Germany or how to sustain the African food culture as an immigrant in Germany.
Phew! This post is emotional and long.
If you’re familiar with me or this blog, you will notice that this blogpost has an exceptional inclusion of the word “boyfriend”. Well, your congratulations are in order because I recently met the love of my life.
Look out for my next post on how I unbelievably met the love of my life.
In the meantime, you can read about my NYSC experience in Kwara State.